Friday, December 11, 2020

Advent Actions for Peace.

 Friday, December 11, 2020 Some material taken from Jesus Is _____ Peace by Van Houser

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19

This past Sunday Brother Van gave us three points - Advent Actions for Peace. 

Pause and Ponder

That first Christmas, the shepherds came to Mary and Joseph and Jesus in the stable after they had been visited from the Heavenly Hosts. Mary must have been overwhelmed. So much excitement. Can you imagine going through all she had been through? The fear at first, Joseph's reaction, and then the glorious anticipation knowing that she would give birth to the Son of God. And now she cradles Him in her arms. 

The most magical moments are sitting and holding a newborn baby. Mary thought about all this, and then listened to the shepherds tell their experience and she treasured it all. Jesus is the true treasure for all of us. The simple yet extravagant story of the Savior’s birth is good news of great joy for all people. And that baby she cradled in her arms, now He cradles you and me. 

 With your family read the Christmas story in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 and talk about and ponder the deep meaning of what it means that Immanuel, God with us, has come to dwell in us. 

Invite Jesus into your “impossible” situation 

 What is it that you’re worried about today? What situation seems so overwhelming that you’re losing sleep at night? Everything seems to be so enhanced by the "good" stress of the holidays. Christmas brings out a lot of emotions for all of us and for some of us, some past memories that make us very emotional. 

For some there are personal problems that are keeping you from experiencing the joy of the season. It is hard to shrug off the weight of financial strain, illness, or relationship problems for Christmas because deep down inside you know it won't just disappear in the "magic" of the season.  Still others have lost a loved one or are ill and having a hard time feeling that this is the most wonderful time of the year. For others of you, you feel like one crisis after another has run you over. The car broke down, the furnace needs repairing, the refrigerator died. And with such an avalanche of problems it is hard to have a holly, jolly Christmas. Some of you are so busy and working so hard that there is no time for sitting around a fire roasting chestnuts. Some are just struggling with depression and may not even really know why. The "joy" of Christmas adds to the heaviness. 

I cannot promise you that if you take every step with Jesus and breathe every breath with Him that you will wake up tomorrow and all your problems will be solved. I can promise you that every step you take with Him and every breath you breathe with Him will be so much easier and His grace and peace will wrap you up. Invite Him to come with you on this impossible journey - whatever it is. He will be with you every step of the way if you ask Him. 

Remember this – Christmas is a time for miracles to take place. I love the words of Gabriel to Mary found in Luke 1:37: For nothing is impossible with God. After you invite Jesus into your impossible situation, lay it in His hands. Give it to Him. The weight will suffocate you if you don't, and He is right there with you waiting to take it. 

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